Virtual Reality Relaxation to Decrease Dental Anxiety


The aim is to apply short-term virtual reality relaxation to examine if it is effective in reducing pre-operative dental anxiety in primary health care using an RCT.

Full Title of Study: “Virtual Reality Relaxation to Decrease Dental Anxiety in Primary Dental Care”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: February 27, 2019

Detailed Description

Randomized controlled single-center trial with two parallel arms: Virtual Reality Relaxation (VRR) and Treatment As Usual (TAU) in a public oral health care unit. VRR group receiving a 1-3.5 minute 360° video immersing them in peaceful virtual landscape with audio features and sound supporting the relaxing experience. TAU groups remaining seated for 3 minutes in similar setting.


  • Device: Virtual reality relaxation
    • 1-3.5 minute 360° videos

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Virtual reality relaxation
    • Virtual reality relaxation using virtual landscape and audio features and sound
  • No Intervention: Treatment as usual
    • Seated in similar environment as experimental group for same time

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Dental anxiety
    • Time Frame: immediately after intervention
    • post-test measured with Modified Dental Anxiety Scale, The measure has five questions, each with five reply alternatives from not anxious to extremely anxious (on a scale 1-5), MDAS sums up to the total scale (range 5-25) which is used as primary outcome. Higher scores indicate higher dental anxiety.

Secondary Measures

  • Anticipatory dental anxiety and treatment related dental anxiety
    • Time Frame: immediately after intervention
    • The secondary outcome variables are post-test scores for the two sub-scales of the MDAS referred to as ‘anticipatory’ (MDAS items 1 and 2) and ‘treatment’ dental anxiety (MDAS items 3, 4 and 5). Scales for sum up as anticipatory anxiety (Items 1 and 2: range 2-10) and treatment anxiety (Items 3-5, range 3-15). Higher scores indicate higher dental anxiety

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • attending for dental treatment
  • consenting
  • able to complete Finnish questionnaire without assistance
  • age 18 years or older

Exclusion Criteria

  • those not meeting inclusion criteria

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 120 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Turku
  • Collaborator
    • University of St Andrews
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Satu Lahti, Professor of Community Dentistry – University of Turku
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Satu Lahti, Principal Investigator, Department of Community Dentistry, University of Turku, Finland

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.